Come and find out what makes West Dean College of Arts and Conservation such a unique place to study with an international reputation.Find out more
Conservation of Metalwork
The Graduate Diploma is the start of your transition into conservation studies if your undergraduate degree was not in a related field.
An internationally respected metals programme with a practical focus, practical work (75% of the course) is supported by studying the history, conservation theory and material science of objects. You will help organise and undertake work for clients, learn to estimate and tender for work. Seminars, lectures and case studies help you to develop a competitive portfolio and workplace skills.
You can expect
You will work in our well-equipped metals workshop with individual bench space, a forge and foundry equipped for soldering, brazing and welding, and a tool room. There are areas for microscopy, chemicals, hot work, machining, and photography. There is also access to on-site silversmiths and blacksmithing workshops.
Collaboration with other conservation specialisms makes for a uniquely enriched learning environment. Shared facilities include:
The on-site Art and Conservation Library puts thousands of specialist books and journals within your reach and you can access specialist databases in the IT suite.Find out more about the facilities
On the Graduate Diploma you typically have around 24 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshop or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study for approximately 13-14 hours per week. Typically, this will involve:
Graduate Diploma: 60% of your time is spent in
scheduled teaching and learning activity
Scheduled teaching and learning: 720 hours
Independent learning: 480 hours
|Semester 1 (18 weeks)|
|Study block 1 (12 weeks)||Christmas vacation||Study block 2 (6 weeks)|
Introducing Professional Practice (40 credits)
Introducing Conservation Science (10 credits)
Contextual and Professional Studies 1 (10 credits)
|Semester 2 (18 weeks)|
|Study block 3 (6 weeks)||Easter vacation||Study block 4 (12 weeks)|
Developing Professional Practice (10 credits)
Research Through Practice (30 credits)
Conservation Science: Development and Applications (10 credits)
Contextual and Professional Studies 2 (10 credits)
Degree or qualification at equivalent level to a second year of undergraduate study (e.g. HND. FdA or DipHE) and an interest or experience in object conservation and cultural heritage. Alternatively, accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will be considered for those who have been out of formal education for some years and are over 21, who do not meet the general (minimum) entrance requirements, but who can demonstrate their capacity for degree-level work in other ways.
International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.
If you fulfil the entry requirements you will be invited to visit the College for an interview with the programme tutor and another senior member of academic staff, and undertake a practical test if applicable.
Course fees are the same for UK and international students
Included is mandatory study trip costs of £400, which typically includes tailored visits to collections/exhibitions of specific interest to the programme of study.
Lunch, accommodation and other living expenses are additional. Find out more
If you are a UK/EU student you may be eligible to apply for a Student Loan (tuition fees and/or maintenance loans) from the Student Loans Company. There are also a variety of Scholarship and Bursary awards available for students who have accepted an offer to study here. Applicants for a scholarship should show outstanding potential and a commitment to their studies and future career in their chosen subject. Applicants for a bursary award are required to demonstrate financial need.
Graduates of the programme usually transition to the
MA Conservation Studies. Others pursue entry level positions in
the heritage sector. Previous students have gone on to work in
including the British Museum, National Maritime Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of London and various businesses including Plowden and Smith Ltd., Arabesque and Richard Rogers Conservation.
"Prior to attending West Dean, I completed a BS degree in Manufacturing Engineering. Prior to that, I worked professionally as a toolmaker and machinist in the perforating and aerospace industries. I feel that studying conservation will lead to a career where I can combine my background in science and technology with my interests in hand crafts, art and history.
As a student I've had the opportunity to start a blacksmith student society, open to any student interested in the traditional art of blacksmithing and utilising the college's forge workshop.
I am looking forward to my summer position working as a conservation specialist focusing on operational artefacts for the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Daniel Ravizza, Graduate Diploma, Conservation of Metalwork
Dr Eric Nordgren brings over 20 years' experience as a metals conservator working with museums, universities, heritage agencies and private practice in the UK and around the world. He is active in the Icon Metals and Heritage Science groups, and is an associate member of AIC, ICOM-CC and the Historical Metallurgy Society.
Subject Leader FdA Metalwork
Grant McCaig is an internationally recognised Silversmith and educator. His work is in several major collections including National Museums of Scotland, the Goldsmiths' Company, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and Aberdeen Art Gallery. He has taught in Japan and Colombia, is a selector for Cockpit Arts and mentor for the Crafts Council.